As dean of the Newhouse School since 2008, Lorraine Branham has focused on curricular innovations, entrepreneurial thinking and new forms of storytelling and professional partnerships in an effort to prepare Newhouse students for a rapidly changing media industry. Under her leadership, the school established the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship; the Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair in Journalism Innovation; and the W2O Group Center for Social Commerce. She also oversaw the development of a student-produced, web-based news magazine, NewsHouse, and the creation of Newhouse’s Center for Sports Media and its sports communications program. She was the driving force behind the establishment of Syracuse University’s LA Semester and the Newhouse in New York program. Last year she dedicated the school’s $18 million state-of-the art production studio and innovation center after a successful fundraising campaign.
Branham moved to higher education after a 25-year career as a newspaper editor, editorial writer and reporter. She spent nine years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. She also taught reporting and writing at Temple University and has taught in the summer program for minority journalists at the University of California, Berkeley. She also has been a Hearst Visiting Professional-in-Residence at the University of Missouri, the University of Florida and the California Polytechnic Institute in San Luis Obispo.
Branham is the recipient of the 2011 Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists Trailblazer Award and the 2011 Temple University School of Communications and Theater Gallery of Success Award. An expert in her field, she twice served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize journalism awards, the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Journalism and the Scripps National Journalism Awards. She also served as a writing judge for the William Randolph Hearst College Journalism Awards Program, also known as the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism, and is currently a member of the program’s Academic Steering Committee.
She is a member of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, the National Association of Black Journalists, Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Syracuse Stage Board of Trustees.
Branham holds a bachelor’s degree in television, radio and film from Temple University.
Branham is married to Melvin Williams, a safety investigator for the U.S. Department of Transportation. They have three adult children.